NGO takes Punjab students on a secular trip

November 21st, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, Nov 21 (IANS) With an aim to instill secular values in school children, a city-based NGO is taking them on a series of trips to churches, gurdwaras, temples and mosques.Also, special lectures, talks and discussions have been organised by Yuvsatta, the NGO, to educate children about various religions. The trips were arranged to mark the celebrations of ongoing National Integration Week Nov 19-25.

“Through these visits, we just tried to teach the children that there is no religion on this earth that negates the values of peace, equality, justice, truth, compassion, human dignity and love,” coordinator of Yuvsatta Parmod Sharma told IANS.

He said the children will also be taken to religious places in Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

A first batch of over 50 children visited the religious shrines Thursday and gained knowledge about their ideologies and teachings. They visited the Catholic church in Sector 19, Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Gurdwara Sahib in Sector 34, Sanatam Dharam Mandir in Sector 46 and Jama Masjid in Sector 20.

Radhika, an 11-year-old student who participated in the trip, said: “This was my first visit to a church and a mosque as earlier I never got any chance to visit these places. It was a wonderful experience to learn about the vast diversity existing in religions in our country.”

Another visitor Nitish said: “Whatever they taught us about various religions, I have noted everything in my notebook. I would certainly practise these things in my real life and I have decided to come here again along with my family members.”

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